Politics

Government shutdown watch: Congress to vote on federal government funding bill Thursday as Trump pushes to build border wall – live updates

After weeks of deliberations, the bipartisan conference committee negotiating funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies whose funding expires Friday night has finally finished its work. The bill contains $1.375 billion for physical barriers at the southern border and completes the six other appropriations bills to fund the roughly 25 percent of federal government that shut down for 35 days.

Text of the 1,159-page bill was released late Wednesday night. The House and Senate are expected to vote on it Thursday.

Follow along for live updates.


Pence says it’s clear Trump doesn’t like the deal

Vice President Mike Pence, who is in Europe, told reporters he’s spoken with the president several times on the trip, and it’s clear the president isn’t very happy with the deal.

Mr. Trump has a variety of options at the border, Pence said. Pence would not say whether the president will sign the bill, noting Mr. Trump is carefully examining the legislation.

Grassley prays Trump will have “wisdom” to sign bill

As the Senate came to order Thursday morning, Republican Chuck Grassley offered his own prayer in addition to the usual pledge to the flag and opening prayer:

“Let’s all pray that the president will have wisdom to sign the bill so government doesn’t shut down,” said Grassley.

What’s in the bill?

In addition to Homeland Security, the legislation reflects conference agreements for six other appropriations bills: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies.

Here’s a look at what’s in the bill:

Highlights of the bill:

  • $1.375 billion for 55 miles of bollard fencing along the southern border and Rio Grande Valley of Texas;
  • Funding for 40,520 ICE detention beds by the end of the fiscal year, a reduction from the current 49,060;
  • $415 million for enhanced medical support, transportation, food and clothing for migrants who are in detention centers;
  • $900 million for enhanced inspections at ports of entry, new technology, opioid detection and customs officers;
  • Funding for a new Coast Guard Polar Security Cutter;
  • A 1.9 percent pay raise for federal civilian workers (overriding President Trump’s order to deny them a pay raise);
  • $100 million for border security technology between the ports on U.S. southern and northern borders, such as mobile surveillance capability and innovative towers (surveillance towers that are able to differentiate between people and vehicles and whether they’re carrying weapons or drugs)
  • $564 million for non-intrusive inspection equipment at land ports of entry to scan vehicles entering the U.S. for narcotics and other contraband;
  • $563.4 million to hire new immigration judges to reduce the backlog of cases;
  • $527.6 million to support the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, a program focused on addressing the causes of migration of undocumented Central Americans to the U.S.;
  • $191 million for new infrastructure at the Calexico land port of entry;
  • $112.6 million for aircraft and sensor systems, including $86 million for 3 additional multi-role enforcement aircraft;
  • $14.5 million for integrated coastal interceptor vessels for patrolling U.S. maritime borders; and
  • $76.9 million for countering opioids with detection equipment and staffing at international mail facilities.

What it does NOT include:

  • Back pay for federal contractors affected by the shutdown;
  • An extension of the Violence Against Women Act (though it does include nearly $500 million in grant money for VAWA programs);
  • No increase in total fencing money compared to fiscal year 2018 (the appropriation is $1.375 billion);
  • Funding can’t be used for any concrete wall or other Trump wall prototypes. Only “existing technologies” for fencing or barriers can be used

CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan and Nancy Cordes contributed to this report

Trump says he has options people don’t understand to build the wall

President Trump, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office alongside the Colombian president Wednesday, said he has options most people don’t understand to build the wall.

It’s unclear just what those options the administration is considering, are.

The president insisted the deal has $23 billion for border security, calling Democrats “stingy” on the issue.

Mr. Trump also warned that the White House would be “looking for landmines” in the bill before signing the legislation.

Appropriators finish writing bill to fund government

The Appropriations Committees finished writing the final text of the legislation to fund the federal government late Wednesday evening. House conferees were given an hour to view the bill text, and after that, Rep. Nita Lowey, the House Appropriations Committee chair, was expected to file the legislation in the House, a Democratic aide told CBS News.

Time running out for Congress as shutdown looms

The Senate is expected to pass the legislation first on Thursday. Following Senate passage, the measure will come to the House for passage. That vote is expected Thursday evening after 6:30 p.m., following the funerals of Rep. Walter Jones and former Rep. John Dingell.

Rebecca Kaplan and Nancy Cordes


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